Update on Team AIGETOA meeting with CMD BSNL on 21st March 2023 in presence of Director HR :

Shri Ravi Shil Verma All India Chairman, Shri Veerabhadra Rao All India President, Shri Pavan Akhand General Secretary, Shri PN Sharma Convener, Shri Badri Kumar Mehta Finance Secretary, Shri Yogendra Kumar AGS, Shri Sunil Gautam Kumar AGS and Shri Chander Singh Negi CS Himachal Pradesh met Hon’ble CMD BSNL Shri P K Purwar Ji and Director (HR) on 21st March 2023 for discussions on the earlier submitted agenda points on the issues related to executives. The following points have been elaborately discussed and decisions taken as per following details:

1.  JTO to SDE promotions :

AIGETOA Team clearly elaborated on the precarious situation of the JTOs belonging to 2008 batch who have been left out during last promotions. We also said that with board approval of new SDERRs and the issue getting struck up at DoT, all promotions from JTO to SDE has stopped. We have clearly explained the issue and mental agony to CMD BSNL and Director HR. We also said that despite assurances many a times, the issue is yet to be resolved. We also said, further eligible candidates of subsequent batch are also pending to promoted. We highlighted that it was assured to us that issue shall be resolved by 15th March 2023 in the agenda meeting, but still no action has been taken.

CMD BSNL told us that due to certain observations on the part of DoT, the RRs could not be notified. He further assured us that necessary modifications in the SDE RR has been done and the same has been approved by Management Committee of the Board. CMD BSNL assured that he is expecting to get it approved by BSNL Board in next few days and immediately thereafter, the promotions shall be executed. CMD BSNL assured us that there will not be any delay as necessary actions are being taken expeditiously.

We also requested for starting the preparatory exercise for subsequent batches. It was assured that all efforts shall be taken to fill up the available vacancies at the earliest and LDCE shall also be notified for all the available posts as on date so that all eligible JTOs who have completed their residency period can aspire to be promoted through LDCE route.

2. SDE Reversal Issue :

We have explained about the issue and the mental agony of our executives and also explained the legal issues. CMD BSNL’s initial reply was that the issue is sub-judice and he will wait for the case outcome to take any action. However, we explained that the pending cases do not hold any significance as it is for management to take action and the LDCE-2007 reversal candidates have filed all such cases under compulsion from BSNL and once the issue is resolved, the cases shall automatically cease to exist.

After detailed discussions, CMD BSNL told that he is aware that a committee is working for resolution of this issue and advised us to wait for the outcome. Director HR also assured that committee is working diligently to resolve the issue and they shall be submitting the report shortly. He assured that the necessary action to resolve the issue shall be taken in next few days. 

3. SDE to AGM Promotions and Review of Cadre Structure:

The AIGETOA team submitted their detailed calculations to CMD BSNL to ensure how the all eligible SDEs can be promoted to the AGM grade without tweaking the defined structure. We also emphasized upon the need for increasing the vacancies in various cadres/streams in view of the BBNL merger, New Projects like 4G saturation, 5 Lacs FTTH connections, 4G Rollout etc. We also highlighted that the two year period of implementation of the revised cadre strength effective from 01.02.2020 is already over and there is need for revisiting the cadre strength in all streams as per the earlier restructuring instructions issued. We also emphasized upon the fact that all such projects can be executed by the in-house employees only and BSNL should not expect that outsourced manpower will ever execute such difficult works.

CMD BSNL agreed with our view and told Director HR to direct the HR team to work on this review and submit all the necessary calculations based on the man hours required to complete all such projects.  He also told to start the cadre strength review work and directed HR team to initiate the work on this.

CMD BSNL also told that he has heard the association’s inputs with regard to the calculation and Directed HR team to have a thorough study of the same and get a firm view on the total number of vacancies which can be created in the AGM cadre for the promotions.  The gesture of CMD BSNL and Director HR was positive on the inputs submitted by the association.

4. AO to CAO Promotions :

AIGETOA Team highlighted the developments in the last hearing and requested CMD BSNL to continue the Senior Advocate from Supreme Court for further hearings also.

CMD BSNL accepted our request and assured the Senior advocate will continue for next few hearings also.

5. AGM to DGM Promotions :

We requested for issuance of promotions from AGM to DGM grade. It was told that regular promotions in DGM grade is not possible till Hon’ble Court does not permit the same.

However, after detailed discussions, CMD BSNL told Director (HR) to explore the AGM to DGM (Adhoc) promotions and said that till the time regular promotions are not made, at least the DGM Ad-hoc Promotions can be extended in the interim period and once court gives go ahead, regular promotions can be given thereafter.  

6. 147 Reversal Issue :

Issue of reversal of Executives Belonging to the 147 group who have been reverted by mis interpreting the judgement of Hon’ble Court was also discussed. We highlighted the current updates and the status of the case at various courts and informed that 4 weeks time was sought by BSNL advocate and requested that BSNL must do the justice now. We said that we firmly expect that the cases will be decided in favour of these applicants, but the damage which has been done to them w.r.t career, financial and social front cannot be undone. Same holds true for the Executives belonging to the List 12 and 13 also who despite clearing the exam for earlier vacancies have been kept junior to those who failed the exam. We requested that BSNL must be considerate towards the issues of competitive quota people and must render justice to them at least now. 

7. Sabbatical Leave :

We requested CMD BSNL for action as per his earlier assurance, CMD BSNL said that in view of the changes scenario of BSNL specially after the extension of 2nd Revival package, this request cannot be accepted.

8.  Trainings for Executive :

CMD BSNL also emphasized upon the need for better training to staff as in the changed scenario of the organisation, he is of the view that the staff working in BSNL must be trained on better technologies, Sales and Marketing etc. Association also emphasised upon the need for providing better resources to the training centers as it has been felt that on training part also, BSNL in house Master Trainers have been doing the job in a better way than the out sourced trainers. We requested BSNL must concentrate on creating in house trainers.  Association side requested CMD BSNL to provide the training for all the fields officers as per the BSNL requirement and also to sales and marketing staff to make them aware about the latest technologies with respect to 4G/5G etc and also all other technologies being implemented in BSNL.

CMD BSNL appreciated the concern of the association and stated that Management is ready for expenditure for training and they will definitely devise a plan to give the training to all the executives to make them future ready for new technologies. CMD BSNL told that our work force will be trained to handle 4G/5G customers service issues.  CMD also assured that he is open to suggestion from association in this regard and all such inputs shall definitely be taken care of. Association side assured that they will be submitting the suggestions in this regard.

9. Death Relief Fund (DRF) :

We have explained about this issue elaborately and requested to launch DRS immediately and implement it at the earliest. CMD BSNL told that he shares the concern of association on this equally and will take all necessary action to put the same in place. He said that there has been certain reservations from few corners on this, however he assured that he will ensure that the DRF is implemented in BSNL.

10. Issues which have Financial Implication :

On the financial issues, CMD BSNL was not very committal but assured us that rightful dues shall definitely be taken care of once the financial condition of BSNL improves a bit. We told that there was an assurance from his side for considering the issues after reviewing the financial position of BSNL after 31st March 2023. CMD BSNL told that as on date the revenue position of BSNL has not improved much except for the fact that now there is feeling of some comfort and earlier uncertainty with respect to future of BSNL do not exist now. He advised us to exercise a bit more patience and assured that with increase in financial health of BSNL, all the pending issues shall be resolved.

Association shall however will not rest on this and will keep on raising the issues at all available forums and platforms. We are trying to meet Hon’ble Minister also to seek his kind blessings in addressing the long pending Pay Scale, Pay Loss and Superannuation related issues.

11. BTS uptime Related Issues :

CMD BSNL informed that Battery sets have been made available throughout circles and now there should not be any excuse for not maintaining the uptime. He told that all those circles where the uptime is very low must be sensitised by association also as there has been circles in BSNL where uptime is as high as 99.5 percent with same resources. He assured that other issues related to BTS maintenance is also under process and all the issues related BTS will be resolved soon. He told us to convey down the line that the BTS uptime must be kept at least 99% to increase the revenue and market share.

12. Issue related to Temporary Advance :

Issues related to the officers not getting their temporary advance due to technical or administrative reasons on being transferred from one Circle to another circle or from one SSA to other SSA was also discussed. Association side was requested to highlight the specific cases and assured us for necessary corrective action.

We request all circle secretaries to collect the data of such cases and furnish the same to concerned CGM as well as to CHQ for further corrective action in this regard.

13. Revision for TA & DA Rules :

The precarious situation of field officers with respect to not getting proper TA/DA while on outstation duty was also discussed in detail. We explained that as a result executives are reluctant to go for out station work as huge money is being spent from their pockets while on tour. We also informed CMD BSNL that while there has been a revision for TA/DA for the officers up to DGM Level in 2017, the officers of JTO/JAO/SDE/AO/AGM/CAO/Equivalent grade and even non executives have not been revised and they all are being forced to work on old rates of 2002 which is not sufficient for even one time meal outside.

After initial reluctance, CMD and Director HR finally acknowledged our concern and assured us that the matter shall be taken up by concerned section for revisiting the rates and to see what best can be done to overcome this situation. All efforts shall be taken to make it in line with the contemporary government rules.

14. Approval of Pay Standard Scales :

CMD BSNL told that BSNL has done its part and the action on BSNL proposal is to be taken by administrative ministry.

Association will take up the issue at appropriate office at DOT as well as with Hon’ble MoC.

15. MT Issue :

We requested for stopping the process as the notification contains many flaws. CMD BSNL apprised that issue is sub-judice and told that appropriate action as per direction of the court shall be taken.

16. Cashless Hospitals :

We have requested the management to approve at least 5 hospitals in the circle headquarters and one hospital at each district headquarters on the cashless basis as empanelled hospitals are not allowing the patients of BSNL families on MRS card. CMD BSNL told us we have cleared all the hospitals pending bills and there is no pending bill of any hospital in the country. So, there should not be any issues in empanelment of hospitals on cashless basis.

Director HR informed that Admin Cell of BSNL CO has already been given directions to work on this and necessary discussions with CGMS are on.

17. Hard Tenure stations and Soft Tenue stations for some circles and for some SSAs.

We clearly explained about these issues, 4G saturation project difficulties and very difficult areas to provide the services in our remote area customers. We Requested the management to provide the facilities like soft tenure and Hard Tenure for some stations and also for some other circles also in line with our earlier submissions in this regard.

CMD and DIR HR told that this is under consideration and told that though inputs from many circles have been received and few are in process of sending the same. He told that consolidated instructions in this regard shall be issued very soon.

18. Discuss about Rule 8 and Rule 9 :

Association side raised the issue of pending Rule 8 cases and waiting list in SDE cadre for Hard Tenure Area. We requested for consideration of these waiting lists in both cadres on interchangeable basis .

However, CMD BSNL told  that transfer against such interchangeable options cannot be done as both are different cadres and their strengths have been decided based on the need of field units and circles. However, he assured that they will try to give the transfers to these officers by arranging at local level.

19. OTP Transfers Cases :

We have requested the management to consider about the OTP request transfer at the earliest possible. The management side told that it will take some more time as some stations are to be declared as soft / hard tenure stations in some circles. The Circle response is awaited and, in all likelihood, the orders in this regard shall be issued in next few days. It was further informed that volunteers shall also be called for working in the tenure areas.  

A request was also made to CMD BSNL to appreciate the staff of BSNL which carried the burden of revival and survival in its worst days by spending lakhs and lakhs of Rupees from their own pockets. We emphasised that a general perception has been created about the BSBL staff that they do not work and as a result, a very negative image of BSNL employees being not interested in work has been created before all. We said that management must take this responsibility of shredding the negative image of its staff before general public as well as on social media. We requested for issuance of statement by management in this regard. The same was agreed by CMD BSNL as well as Director HR.

On behalf of AIGETOA, we extend our heartful thanks to our hon’ble CMD BSNL and our beloved Director HR  for sparing their valuable time with us to discuss elaborately on each & every point and assurance for resolving the issues which can be resolved and for also being categorical in denying the things which they cannot extend. We sincerely hope for a positive consideration and holistic implementation of the decisions taken in the meeting.